Aug 152014

i-coach-219192617_std1Ever thought about coaching? Want to learn more about what it takes to be a Masters coach? We are blessed to have local opportunities for just such training this fall/winter 2014.

First up we have the USMS Level 1 & 2 Coaches Certification training. That will be held at Rolling Hills Club in Novato on Saturday, October 4th from 9-5pm (show up at 8:30 for check in). The following day the instructors and coaches in the class will host a 3-hour stroke clinic for swimmers (covering all 4 strokes). That will be held at Rolling Hills Club as well and runs from 9am-noon (again, show up at 8:30 for check-in).

Then, on Saturday, December 5th, USMS is returning to Novato (again at Rolling Hills Club) to bring us USMS Level 3 Coaches Certification training.

If you think there is a chance in the future you might want to coach a Masters team, then seize this opportunity to catch this training close to home!

Cokie will be teaching the Level 1 & 2 class in October, and normally teaches the Level 3 course but will be in Cuba in December.

  • For further information on the Level 1 & 2 Coaching class October 4th, click here.
  • For signing up for the Stroke Clinic October 4th, click here. Cost is $40.
  • For further information on the Level 3 Coaching class December 5th, click here.
  • For more information about USMS Coaching Certification in general, go here.
Aug 152014

Attention swimmers – we are moving our listings of upcoming swim meets and open water events to our Team Unify site (TU site can be accessed from the right sidebar). I will continue posting here through 2014 but beginning in 2015 you will only find listings for upcoming swim meets and open water events on our secondary TeamUnify website under the Events tab. 


Upcoming open water swims:

  • Whiskeytown Lake OW Swim, Sunday, September 7th.  Registration hereReg closes September 4th at 11:59 pm.
  • Keller Cove OW Swim (Richmond), Saturday, September 20th. Registration here.


Aug 152014

Attention swimmers – we are moving our listings of upcoming swim meets and open water events to our Team Unify site (TU site can be accessed from the right sidebar). I will continue posting here through 2014 but beginning in 2015 you will only find listing for upcoming swim meets and open water events on our secondary TeamUnify website under the Events tab. 

Upcoming swim meets:

  • Modesto SCM Meet, Saturday, August 23. Event info here. Registration here. Reg is closed (meet is full). Coaches Cokie, Susie, Nicole and Marlon will be at this meet!
  • Mountain View SCM Meet, Sunday, September 28. Event info here. Registration hereReg closes Sept 26th at 11:59 pm
  • Sacramento SCM Sprint Pentathlon held in Davis, Saturday, October 4th. Event info here. Reg info will be hereReg closes Oct 1st at 11:59 pm
  • Pac Masters SCM Champs, Walnut Creek, Oct 10-12. Not yet posted. Keep an eye out hereTeam effort! We’d love to have you there, even if just for relays!
  • Senior Games held Sunday, November 16th in SF at the Martin Luther King Pool (indoor). This meet is needed if you want to attend the 2015 National Senior Games in Minneapolis and have not yet done one of the Senior Games qualifying meets. Even if you don’t plan to go to next year’s Nat’l Senior Games, this is a great low key meet to give competition a try. Strong likelihood that you’ll walk away with a medal or two! For information on this qualifying meet, see the Encore Games website here. To register online go here. I believe registration closes on or around Nov 3rd.
  • Southern Pacific Masters Short Course Meters Champs, December 5-7, tba. Not yet posted. Keep an eye out here.
Aug 112014

SwimClinicU.S. Masters Swimming is presenting a 3-hour stroke clinic at Rolling Hills Club in Novato on Sunday, October 5th. This clinic is open to USMS registered swimmers. Cost is $40 and will cover all 4-strokes. Swimmers are welcome to bring fins, snorkels and paddles (although they are not required). Come have a fun day learning some new things about each stroke. All levels of Masters swimmers are welcome!

Jan 132014

The first clinic of the year for Pacific Masters Swimming takes place in Albany on Saturday, February 15, 2014. At $25, this is such a bargain for a quality clinic. Come join me that day as I lead this clinic with Coach Stu Kahn (Davis Aquatic Masters). You’ll love it and you’ll really tune up your freestyle and backstroke! The flyer below has all the information. If you plan on attending let me know. You will need to register through Coach Carol Nip to attend the clinic.


Albany Masters Swim Clinic

Jan 122014

Ok, you could just do these scuba drills, or you could join us a meet. Come on, you can do it!

I am so excited! The Short Course Yards Season is here! What’s that mean? It means the meets running from January through May are races held in 25 yard pools, the same that we practice in. And this year, we are blessed to have the Short Course Yards Nationals “in our own backyard” as they will be held in Santa Clara. I’m hoping to rally you Swymnuts to join me in some of these upcoming meets. It isn’t quite the same when you aren’t there!

The best place to find meet information is on the Pacific Masters website here. To get the meet information you see below, you can click on the Pac Masters link or on the highlighted link in each listing below. What you see below is just the short course yards meets from now through the Nationals. I will be at most, if not all of these meets.

January Meets

  • 25th, Saturday. Olympic Club (indoor) hosts a 1-event meet which consists of a 1500m free (short course meters pool)
  • 26th, Sunday. Fog City Meet at St. Ignatius High (indoor), a 4-event meet which consists of 500, 100, 200 and 50 free. Note, you can swim any event in freestyle events. For example, I plan to swim the 50 breast, 100 back and 200 IM.

February Meets

  • 9th, Sunday. USF Valentine’s Meet (indoor) consisting of 50s, 100s and a 200 Mixed Medley Relay! Held at USF’s Koret Hall.  A great meet.
  • 22nd, Saturday. Salinas Valley Meet (indoor) consisting of a mix of 50s, 100s and some 200s. In Salinas.
  • 23rd, Sunday. The City Mile (indoor) consisting of one event, the 1650 free. Held at the City College of San Francisco.

March Meets

  • 9th, Sunday. Cal Meet (UC Berkeley, outdoor), 50s, 100s, 200 Free, 200 IM & 500 Free along with two relays: 200 Medley Relay, 200 Free Relay. This would be a great tune up for Nationals!
  • 15th, Saturday. Rinconada Meet (Palo Alto, outdoor), a mix of 50s, 100s, 200s, a 400 IM and the only 1650 fly event in our region (nuts, pure nuts).
  • 15th & 16th, Sat & Sun, Clovis Meet “Swim For Change” a charity swim meet. Saturday’s event is a 1-hour swim (individual or combine in a relay) and Sunday’s events are more traditional competitive swim meet events.
  • 28th-30th, Fri-Sun, Pacific Masters Short Course Champs in Moraga (outdoor). Meet information not yet out. This meet consists of every event available at a short course yards meet: 50s, 100s and 200s in each stroke, the 100, 200 and 400 IM, the 500, 1000 and 1650 free, and all kinds of relays. You don’t have to come every day, but we’d love to have you come one day, even if just to help us out on relays!

April Meets

  • 5th, Saturday. Hawk Relays, Pleasanton. I think this is a first time meet consisting of relays only. Let’s do this! Meet information not yet out.

May Meets

  • 1-4, Thursday-Sunday, USMS Short Course Yards National Championships in Santa Clara (outdoor). A big meet with probably 1700-2100 swimmers. Lots and lots of fun no matter what level of swimmer you are. All swimmers may enter up to 3 events with or without making the qualifying times. If you can make qualifying times, you can enter up to 6 events total (and at least 3 would have to have qualifying times). For a list of qualifying times, click here. For the order of events over this 4-day meet, click here. For hotel information, click here.

Come on out and join us at these meets. You will have lots of laughs and a ton of fun with your teammates, guaranteed!


Mar 252013

Flyer Urban EscapeCome join me at Indian Valley College in Novato on Sunday, April 7th for a Freestyle / Open Water Clinic. The first hour will be dedicated to tuning up your freestyle stroke with some innovative drills. The second hour will be on open water skills such as drafting; pack swimming; breathing; rounding buoys; swimming straight, swimming in choppy water, etc. The clinic runs from 12:30-2:30. Cost is $25 for members of Urban Escape Fitness and $35 to non members. We have the entire 50m pool available to us and it is going to be fun!

Click the image to download the clinic flyer which has all the information you’ll need about the clinic and how to register. Hope you can join me!

Mar 232013

Available early April, cost $10 !

Congratulations to Swymnut Jane Mothersill for a great performance today. It was her first swim as a Swymnut Master! Jane swam with me in the USF March Madness Meet at Koret Hall in San Francisco. She swam four events in a row and looked very good (100 free 1:17.24, 6th; 50 fly 40.28, 3rd;, 100 breast 1:34.72, 2nd; and in 50 back 42.97, 1st!!). She had some very good times and her backstroke is beautiful!

I was happy with my five swims too (all done in a 3-hour swim meet format). Muffed one turn on my first event, the 100 Free, but the rest of the meet went very well for me. I even achieved a lifetime best in 100 backstroke after a dream start (a pretty rare occurrence for me).

It was wonderful to be competing again and back with friends. A big shout out to Erica Sutherland (UNAT), Kate Thorp (Marin Pirate),  Margaret de Somma (North Bay Aquatics) and Loleta Velosa (San Diego) who were strong and beautiful in the water. Another shout out to Alan Bernard (TAM) looking especially great in his 100 free and 100 fly and to some pretty speedy Mud Shark friends as well.

Also had the opportunity to connect up with coaches and swimmers that have been in some of our recent Pac Masters swim clinics and hearing about – and seeing – their progress today. Way to go to all the swimmers and their coaches!

Here is the link to the USF Meet results:

Next up is the Pac Masters Short Course Yards Champs April 5-6-7. Entries are due by Weds, March 27th at 11:59 p.m. Registration information here: I’ll be there Saturday swimming 5 events and possibly Friday for the 1650 free (schedule allowing). Can’t make it Sunday!

Mar 012013

Hey all you masters swimmers out there, come check out the brochure for the 2013 USMS High Performance Camp to be held August 24-29, 2013 in Greensboro, NC. Applications are being accepted now and closing date is May 24th. I’ll be coaching again there this year and am so excited to be doing this. We had an amazing time last year with our 20 campers and four coaches. We witnessed all kinds of stroke transformations take place last year. If you want to significantly improve your technique, you will most definitely benefit from this camp which is worth every penny!

The 2012 Campers & Coaches

The 2012 Campers & Coaches


Here is the 2013-HPC-Brochure.

Jul 162012

You don’t have to compete in swim meets and officially sanctioned open water swims to call yourself a masters swimmer. While I love competition, not everyone does. Did you know that it is fitness swimmers that make up the bulk of the near 60,000 members of U.S. Masters Swimming? Well Fitness Swimmers, stand up and take a bow!

With that in mind, this post is dedicated to the fitness swimmer. Give a big round of applause for those who come out to the pool (or open body of water) and swim on a regular basis to stay fit. It is one of the best forms of exercise and these fitness swimmers are impressive with their dedication.

If you don’t like competition, or just simply can’t fit it into your schedule, there are abundant opportunities to challenge yourself in a wide variety of ways. U.S. Masters Swimming has steadily grown their web segment on Fitness  Swimming throughout the years and they list a few of the postal swims/fitness challenges on their site. You can catch it here.

Many of the fitness challenges allow you to sign up online (generally a very nominal fee) and give you something for attempting or completing the challenge – sometimes a pin, a hat, a t-shirt, etc. Other fitness challenges are sometimes reserved for a club or specific to a region.

It is incredibly fun to try some of these challenges, some of which are zany, and some are more serious. Check some of these challenges out!

The February Fitness Challenge

In this challenge, you are rewarded for swimming at least 5 days each week in the month of February. There are special awards for those who amass 100,000 yards of swimming. Whoa, that is a lotta yards!

The S.W.I.M. Fitness Challenge

This swim “Streamlining Weigh Loss In Masters” was hosted by Illinois Masters. It was a 10-week weight loss challenge that started on Super Bowl Sunday.

The Independence Day Challenge

This was a challenge to swim an 800 I.M., time yourself in each 200, and send your results in on the USMS Discussion Forum.

The Brute Squad Swim

Ah, this is a toughie. Swim a 1650 free (or 1500m if long course), a 400 IM and a 200 Fly. Events can be swum in any order with as much rest between as desired. All three events must be swum in the same 24 hour day.

Davis Brute Squad

Now these guys really put the challenge on the Brute Squad Swim. (And, Davis, after all, was the originators of the Brute Squad.) In their version, you swim the 1650 Free, 400 IM and 200 Fly in any order and back-to-back. You submit your total time to complete the three events (rest time is included). The challenge is to try to keep the rest at minimum. If you are really a brute, you don’t take any rest at all!

The 12,000 Yards of Christmas

Trying to get ride of those holiday calories? Look no further than this 12,000 yard challenge! The goal is to swim 12,000 yards in one week, the week between December 24th and Jan 1st. Sweet! Eat the sweets, do the sets, and perhaps you can meet your quest to burn those calories off.  Of course, better yet, don’t eat the sweets and still do the 12,000 yards and you come out ahead. :-)

The TAM 1650 Postal Challenge

Swim 1650 yards in the month of January or February, have someone catch your splits each 50, and that’s all ya gotta do for this Fitness Challenge which is hosted each year by the Tamalpais Masters in San Rafael, CA.

The Turducken Workout

A turducken is a turkey that is stuffed with a duck, which in turn has been stuffed with a chicken. Uhm…Yuck? It helps to enjoy IM if you are going to do this set which involves

4 x 350 @ :30-:40 rest interval

1st 350=100 FL/50 BK/50 BR/50 BK/100 FL

2nd 350=100 BK/50 BR/50 FR/50 BR/100 BK

3rd 350=100 BR/50 FR/50 FL/50 FR/100 BR

4th 350=100 FR/50 FL/50 BK/50 FL/100 FR

On each round do the middle 50 at 200 IM pace; the 50 before it as build and the 50 after it as recovery, and the turkey 100s at the front and back at basic aerobic pace.

 The Butternuts

Now, these guys are nuts. This is a club for anyone who can swim 500 yards of butterfly without stopping. Yikes!

The Check Off Challenge

Our Swymnuts will recognize this as we did this one here in our first year. Basically, you swim every event in a short course yards meet + an open water swim. You can do this in practice or by attending meets and “checking off” the events you swim. For the ultimate challenge do it all in one workout. For the ultra challenge, do it straight, with no rest between sets.

July Swim For Distance Month

Hosted by the Dallas Aquatic Masters, this one involves swimming as much yardage as you can in the month of July. Walnut Creek also has a version of this that they do in March and they title theirs, March Madness. I know a few swimmers who have gone over 300,000 yards. O-M-G!

Those are just a few of the challenges I found while poking around the USMS Discussion Forums. If you know of more, let me know! If you’ve got an idea for a challenge we might undertake as Sywmnuts, let’s hear it. After all, we are NUTS, right?